Twelve years ago, I was a few miles away from the Pentagon when a plane crashed into its side. I remember driving to work hearing about the plan crashes in New York originally thinking that what I predicted many years ago finally came true, a small plane crashed into the World Trade Center. The reports turned grim as I kept driving toward my office.

When I arrived, I sat in the car a while listening to the radio and trying to call friends I knew who worked in lower Manhattan. I remember one was working in the World Financial Center across the street from the Twin Towers. I later found out that he had taken a job on the other side of the river in New Jersey a year earlier.

Another friend was working in 6 WTC, a 40 story building next to 2 WTC or Tower 2. Thankfully, he and his coworkers were able to escape before the second tower collapsed onto that building.

Just after the plane crashed into the Pentagon we were sent home.

I came home to the empty house my late first wife and I bought. She had died five months earlier and this time, the quiet of the house was deafening. I tuned on the television just before the second tower collapsed.

Although it was twelve years ago, I remember the day like it happened yesterday. Those who were around when President Kennedy was assassinated say the same thing about that day. It is difficult to forget these traumatic events, which is good. We should not only remember them but remember what happened after in order to do better next time. We need to learn from history rather than repeat it.

Medal images and descriptions courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

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